Good morning, and happy Tuesday. Here are six of the top stories we are following this morning at NBC News:
1. Toxicology tests will shed light on Hoffman's death
Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead Sunday of an apparent drug overdose. But authorities, who found 49 full bags of heroin, 23 empty bags of heroin and prescription drugs in Hoffman’s New York City apartment, are trying to determine whether he had actually OD’d or took a bad batch of heroin. Read more in POP CULTURE.
Fans laid flowers outside of his apartment on Monday in his memory:
2. Chris Christie again denies bridge scandal knowledge
The New Jersey governor appeared on his radio segment Monday for the first time since allegations surfaced that his top aides orchestrated traffic jams as payback against another politician last year. Christie dismissed newer accusations against his administration as a “game of gotcha,” but said his office would comply with a federal subpoena into the allegations. Read more in POLITICS.
3. Senate on the verge of passing massive ‘farm bill’
The $1 trillion bill, which provides a safety net for America’s farming families, has major consequences. Among them: It would cut food stamp assistance by $8 billion over 10 years. Read more in POLITICS.
4. More winter storms expected to wallop parts of the U.S.
No need to put away your snow shovel. After the Northeast and Midwest got another dose of nasty weather on Monday with more than 8 inches of snow in some areas, a second storm is set to move east. Parts of the Midwest and Ohio Valley are expected to get a fresh coating of snow Tuesday, while the Northeast could see several inches during Wednesday’s morning commute. Read more in NEWS.
Meanwhile, the undergrads in Morgantown, W.Va., are making the most of the wintry weather.
5. ‘That’s him!’: Stranded castaway’s family confirms his identity
The El Salvadorian man who went missing for more than a year after he claims he was cast adrift in the Pacific Ocean told NBC News partner Telemundo that he contemplated suicide during his ordeal. His siblings in Maryland watched video of the fisherman after he landed on a remote Pacific atoll. Read more in NEWS.
6. Cannabis-craving gangs go after Colorado pot shops
Marijuana retailers in the state say they’re feeling anxiety after reports that bands of thieves — sometimes armed — are targeting their shops. Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use this year, and it’s highlighting some of the dangers involved with the drug’s sale. Read more in NEWS.
… What’s trending today?
Happy birthday, Facebook. It was 10 years ago on Feb. 4 that founder Mark Zuckerberg launched the site from his Harvard dorm room as thefacebook.com.
Zuckerberg, 29, gave an exclusive interview on the TODAY show on Tuesday to talk about how far his social network has come.
Here's how Facebook is celebrating its milestone: